When you ask a 9 year old what kind of shells that they found, you expect them to say something like “Lot’s of pretty ones!” or maybe sometimes “A whelk and a conch!”. That’s not what I got when I asked Adriana and her sister Grace what they found. Adriana showed me a beautiful, perfect small shell and I said “Wow, that’s a perfect FIG” which she replied “Yes, a fig, I know!”. Grace knew the names of her shells too …”Look at this KITTEN’S PAW that’s still together”.
That’s when Adriana said “I found a NUDIBRANCH too!”. uhhhh. Huh? A what? I had no idea what a NUDIBRANCH was until she told me it was a sea slug. So I just looked it up…..here’s a picture of a NUDIBRANCH (click on the highlighted word) that I think she saw (?). Adriana and Grace’s dad, Carmen, is a biologist and was a science teacher so he and their mom Sheri have done a great job teaching their girls all about sea life. Crazy Aunt Karen ( that’s what they say they call her) said she has been coming to Sanibel for 40 years so shelling and sea life must be in the blood. Carmen or Adriana, please let me (us) know if this is the type of NUDIBRANCH you saw on the beach on the Sanibel side of Blind Pass. I’m so intrigued now.
Well, I’ve learned that I’m not smarter than a 3rd grader when it comes to sea slugs. Now I can’t wait to see a nudibranch for myself.
I love that those girls are enjoying learning so much about sea life! Maybe they’ll become marine biologists one day. I have seen live nudibranchs in the Gulf, but very rarely. I really hope you’ll spy one soon, Pam; you’re one sure to appreciate them. None of “our” nudibranchs are fancy dancy types, but there are lots and lots of them in other waters that are brightly patterned and colorful, with all sorts of plumes, wings and other adornments on them.
There’s another similar, but larger creature called a sea hare that can frequently be seen in the water close to shore at certain times of the year. They aren’t “pretty” by any means, but watching them swim is mesmerizing… they’re movements are so graceful. I’ve seen sea hares in Ding Darling in the past, too.
WE ARRIVED ON SAT AND HAVE SHELLED FOR HOURS EACH DAY. WE MISSED THE REALLY GOOD DAYS BUT THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING WONDERFUL IF WE ARE PATIENT…….AND TENACEOUS.
WE TRIED SHELLING AT BLIND PASS AND THERE WAS NO PARKING….WENT TO THE END OF CAPTIVA AND NO PARKING……WAIT THAT WAS TWO DAYS AGO…YESTERDAY WE WENT TO CAPTIVA AND FOUND MINIS THEN TO BLIND PASS….NO LUCK TODAY…. AND THEN MY SISTER CALLED AND SAID YOU WERE HAVING GOOD LUCK AT CAYA COSTA SO WE DROVE DOWN THERE BUT WERE TOOOOOO LATE YOU FOUND ALL THE HORSIES…..JUST KIDDING I DID FIND ONE BUT EACH DAY WE FIND THE SHELLING MORE DIFFICULT……WE LOOKED FOR MINIS AT THE LIGHT HOUSE AND COULD NOT FIND ONE LAST EVENING.
HAVE YOU EVER SEEN JUDYS SHELL GARDEN (AT THE LIGHT HOUSE) IF NOT ASK HER IF YOU MIGHT HAVE HER SHOW IT TO YOU…..IT IS FABULOUS. BE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR CAMERA FOR YOU WILL WANT MANY PHOTOS OF HER WONDERFUL CREATIONS.
WELL THERE ARE NO SHELLS IN FRONT OF OUR RENTAL THIS MORNING(WE ARE ON WEST GULF) SO AM NOT SURE WHERE TO GO LOOKING,
I HAVE SEVERE BACK AND LEG PROBLEMS SO IT IS VERY HARD FOR ME TO SHELL BUT I INTEND TO PURSUE. WOULD JUST BE NICE IF I DIDNT HAVE TO WALK TO FAR……ANY SUGGESTIONS????
OH DEAR I JUST RALIZED I AM AWAY AND CANT OPEN MY E MAIL HERE……..BUMMER………………..ILL LET YOU KNOW WHEN WE WILL BE AT THE LIGHT HOOUSE……………………..
SANIBEL SISTER LINDA
Sanibel Sister- Just to clear up that Cayo Costa thing…..it was Casa Ybel I found the mini horsie- not Cayo Costa. I just don’t want anybody thinking you can drive to Cayo Costa because that’s an island you can only get there by boat. ok Now that’s out of they way. Welcome! Well, I havent had great luck the last week finding perfect spots to sit and sift that produce lots of goodies. West Gulf was the best I saw. I’m heading out today. I’ll let yall know.
Wasn’t able to go out at all today.
What did i miss.
Sanibel Sister L
Gorgeous pictures! I always learn something on your blog. How neat that you came across this family. Nudibranch–that’s a new one!
Those two children are lucky to have great teachers as parents. :)
I was all into reading and looking at the pictures when I saw the little horse conch. :) I’ve never heard anyone call them candy corn, which is a perfect name. Then I thought, I wonder if she’s heard of Tink’s mac n’ cheese. I had to laugh as I read further. I think it’s interesting that we all find them so appealing. When I see one, my first thought is always Tink’s reply, ‘Anyday you find a mac n’ cheese, is a good day’. I’ve been lucky enough to see a nudibranch a few times in the early morning, on the east end beach. I didn’t know what they were either and had to ask and then looked up more info. Seems they exist in lots of different shapes and a myriad of colors. The ones I saw were very pretty. I hope you have good luck today.
Hi Tootie- Do the nudibranchs you see on the east end look like the picture I linked to on my post? I’m so interested to know if that’s what I should be looking for. Thanks!!!!!!
How is the shelling in the beginning of July? Do you have a recommendation on where is better during that time of year?
July or any time in the summer has been great shelling for us. We have those storms from the south and from the west that seem to bring in lots of treasures. We always watch the weather, winds and tides and then make our decision on where we will head out to shell. You can’t predict this far out but just just remember, if it looks like bad weather…it might be excellent shelling!
So using the weather and winds as your guide how do you use them to decide where to go on the island?
Do you live on the island? I assume you do since you seem to be shelling daily.
If there are good winds coming from the southwest…..get to the southwest part of the island. Northwest winds? get to the NW part of the island…..and so on. If the winds just started kicking in then it might take a few days for those seas to make any action happen on the floor of the gulf. Even this isn’t a definite. It’s Mother Nature! She always throws a few clues but likes to keep you guessing too just to keep it interesting.
just surfing the Discovery Channel and found them replaying episodes of LIFE…and they just showed some nudibranches! And showing some beautifully colored ones at that! I’ve never heard of them before and now they are everywhere :)